Common Dog Training Mistakes

11 June 2022

If you Google "How to train a dog." there is a lot of information out there . Using various methods you, can teach your pet just about anything, but there are plenty of mistakes owners make when training their canine companions. These mistakes are very common and can have a large impact on whether or not you and your canines efforts are successful. To avoid frustration on both ends of the leash, we’ve listed below a few universal dog training mistakes you should do your best to correct.

1. Cue nagging

A common problem we see is cue nagging. Cue nagging is when your dog doesn’t respond to the cue given, so you keep repeating it. This often happens with the word “come.” You say it; your dog doesn’t obey, so you keep saying it. Eventually, your dog doesn’t pay attention until you’ve said the word five or six times. By repeating the cue, you’ve taught your pet that they doesn’t have to respond right away — and your cue is now “come, come, come, come.” It’s imperative to say the cue just once. If your dog is distracted, and you don’t think he’s listening, it’s better not to say it at all. Instead, see if you can get your dog’s attention first. This will help you avoid cue nagging and train your dog to respond to a single cue every time. Also please ensure your canine understands what is expected from the cue, this will ensure success.

2. Poisoned cues

Poisoning of cues is another habit that many first-time trainers fall into. This is when you accidentally associate a behavior or cue with something your dog views negatively, so they stop responding. As an example, you’ve finally taught your dog “come,” but now, you use it to summon them for a bath — something they hates. You call, they come, and you proceed to bathe them. The next day, you ask your dog to come, and he hesitates, maybe he doesn’t return at all. If there’s something your dog really dislikes, avoid using cues in relation to that activity when your starting your training. Once that cue has been reinforced, you may be able to get away with using it, but not when he’s learning the cues.

3. Failing to practice in-between classes

If you are attending a training class a common issue is failing to practice in-between classes. Practice makes perfect — we all know the saying — and it definitely applies to dog training. If your attending a class once a week, that’s not enough time to create a well-behaved dog. Make sure you practice every day, but only for brief stretches. Dogs have the mentality of a human toddler, and just like toddlers, their attention spans can be short. For most pups, you’ll have better success with 5-to-10-minute sessions. Make sure you have the right training supplies and training items at home. Need some help? Reach out and we can help.

4. Useless repetition

Another no-no in dog training: REPEAT - REPEAT - REPEAT: Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result. If you keep trying the same method of training, but your dog isn’t picking up on the cue — STOP! Evaluate your pet’s responses, and come up with a new plan, ask your trainer for assistance.

5. Working when you’re frustrated

Finally, if your in a bad mood, frustrated or just not feeling the session, don’t train. Our patience tends to wear thin when we’re grumpy, and we’re more likely to get mad at our dog for not getting things perfect on the first try. If you had a bad day, play fetch or spend some time snuggling. That’s therapeutic for both of you!

There are many nuances to dog training, but by avoiding these common pitfalls, listed above, you’re setting your dog and you up for success — which will only make the process go faster. That deserves a few happy tail wags and a smile on your face!